Paul Arriola broke through with a 78th-minute curler that skimmed off the hand of diving 'keeper Tim Melia, and D.C. United kept pace atop the Eastern Conference with a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Sunday evening at Audi Field.
Bill Hamid made four saves to preserve his MLS-best sixth clean sheet of the season. His opposite number Melia was also impressive in defeat, which ran Kansas City's winless run to six matches.
After scoring in each of their first eight games of the season, SKC have been kept scoreless over their last two.
- 78' - DC - Paul Arriola | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Sporting are merely trying to survive this injury-plagued stretch at the moment, having only dressed four bench players. Meanwhile, D.C. may rotate their squad heavily on Wednesday in Toronto, having used only one substitute before second-half stoppage time.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: There could only be one. Arriola came to D.C. almost two years ago with the stated goal of improving his end product. He's scored 11 goals in a D.C. shirt since, none of better quality than Sunday's winner.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Steve Birnbaum. The center back did well to limit Krisztian Nemeth throughout and also was a consistently menacing presence on D.C.'s set piece. It's been two seasons plus since his last US national team call-up, but he's certainly putting himself in the conversation.